BHF calls for clean air

20 June 2019        

Category: BHF Comment

This Thursday (20 June), marks Clean Air Day 2019. The Global Action Plan initiative provides the chance to learn more about air pollution and the impact that it has on your health.

Research shows that air pollution can damage your heart and circulatory system in a number of ways.  Tiny but damaging particles in the air affect the inside walls of your blood vessels, causing them to become narrower and harder and can lead to increased blood pressure, causing additional strain on the heart. If the blood vessels become too narrow from a build-up of plaque this can lead to a heart attack or stroke.

These problems can either cause new health conditions, or make existing conditions, like coronary artery disease and heart failure, worse. There is also growing evidence of a link between air pollution and diabetes, which is a risk factor for heart and circulatory conditions.

Simon Gillespie, Chief Executive of the British Heart Foundation, said:

“Today provides us with the opportunity to highlight the profound damage that air pollution causes to our heart and circulatory health. This is a major public health issue that contributes to up to 36,000 deaths in the UK each year.

“Research shows that air pollution can affect your heart and circulation system in numerous ways, and can increase the risk of life threatening heart attacks and strokes in vulnerable people.

“We all have a right to clean air and we need to act now to prevent any further damage from occurring. This needs to start by adopting World Health Organization guidelines on limits for the most dangerous particles found in air pollution into UK law as soon as possible. After all, we should have clean air every day of the year.”

Find out more why air pollution is a problem